Thursday, 19 November 2009

The End of Poverty?

Eight Million People

8 million people die each year because they are too poor to survive and yet the tragedy is that with a little help, they could even thrive. We can banish extreme poverty in our generation.

In his book, The End of Poverty, Jeffrey Sachs argues that extreme poverty — defined by the World Bank as incomes of less than 1 dollar per day — can be eliminated globally by the year 2025.

The End of Poverty, is now a documentary film: Here's a clip that reminds us all that Poverty is Not An Accident.

The End Of Poverty? from Philippe Diaz on Vimeo.

As Gandhi, once said, "The world has enough for everybody's need, not for everybody's greed."


  1. We should all be grateful for what we have and do our best to help others less fortunate than we are. Thank you so much for reminding us of that :)

  2. You're welcome Shahbano.

    Poverty exists by design and we should work to ending this as soon as possible.

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  4. A very nice quote by Mandela.
    The problem, unfortunately, is the greed of those who are not suffering in poverty (and are not necessarily rich). Can they not share just a little bit of what they have with those who cannot afford anything at all, especially food?

    But I don't like depending on other people to take care of these things. Let's do it ourselves, Tor Khan wror. Let's ourselves join as many hands as we can and influence others to join our circle of supporters who wish to eradicate at least a few communities of poverty. We cannot save the whole world, but we can save at least those who are sharing our soil with us. And whose responsibility is it other than yours and mine and the others among us who are living in peace and are with the Grace of God very well off, compared to their brothers and sisters back home? Let's take it in our own hands by helping just a couple of kids here and there, just a couple of families, by sending them money and other things and, once we are there ourselves, teach them how to make a living (with our help).

  5. The film, which I've seen a couple of times, comes from a very different understanding of poverty from what Jeffrey Sachs and most other popular theorists about poverty are speaking from.

    It examines some of the structural causes of poverty. As long as we merely nibble at the leaves of poverty -- clean water, schools, microcredit, better health care -- we can avoid searching for the root cause of poverty. Henry David Thoreau said something about there being thousands nibbling at the leaves for every person looking at the roots of the problem. Whole industries evolve around nibbling at the leaves. Meanwhile, those who benefit from the structures which produce poverty continue to benefit. They don't want anyone seeking the root cause; it wouldn't be in their own best interests as they perceive them.

    Look into this film. See also and for more information.

  6. IVTfan - I quite agree - there's an entire 'industry' built around poverty reduction that looks only at the symptoms, but not the root causes. I'm all for projects that bring clean water and schools to people, but I fully realise the real issue is around the economic structures that create the imbalance in the first place.

    Governments/businesses are inherently selfish so the changes that we seek are considerable. We have to begin to admit this in our efforts to reduce poverty.

    Morally, it is unacceptable that there are many people who live in the abject/dire conditions that they are forced into. We should never lose sight of that.


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